JOHN METCALF (b.1946): Paradise Haunts..., 3 Mobiles, In Time of Daffodils for Baritone and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 10J097
Reference: SIGCD 103
Description: These three works are instantly accessible and attractive, though not without seriousness of intent or compositional sophistication. Metcalf's vocabulary is entirely tonal and strictly diatonic. There is a strain of elegiac consolation running through the works, especially Paradise Haunts, which took as its initial inspiration a garden created by film-maker Derek Jarman during his final illness. An extended set of variations, the work exudes a sombre beauty, characteristic of the British landscape. The livelier outer Mobiles exploit compound and polyrhythms, while the central one (which begins as though first cousin to Mahler's adagietto from the 5th) is a study in extended melody. The orchestral songs set texts about daffodils, and not surprisingly a pastoral mood predominates, tinged, like the other 'garden' work, with a gentle melancholy, reflecting themes of death and the passage of time in various of the poems. Texts included. Jeremy Huw Wiliams (baritone), BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Grant Llewellyn.